Published in 2012, All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps, is a new collection of real life interviews about love and marriage, compiled and edited by Dave Isay. For those of you not familiar with StoryCorps, the basic idea is that pairs of people interview each other and have their stories recorded at special booths across the United States; some of these stories are later featured in books: Listening Is an Act of Love (2007), and Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps (2011). Having read and reviewed "the Mom book" in May of 2011, I was eager to read another StoryCorps book. All There Is is the brand new StoryCorps book, filled with touching personal stories about how people met each other, fell in love, and got married. I was moved to tears by some of these stories. The book includes a variety of love stories from people of different religions, races, ages, and sexual orientations; it depicts the real and beautiful diversity of America. It was refreshing to read good things about love and marriage for a change. I was inspired numerous times while reading this book, by the stories of Jane, Leroy, Cindy, and others, by the wife who became a doctor after her ten children were grown, by the husband who took to heart a list of six rules for a successful marriage (featured on the back cover of the book), and more generally, by love that continued to flourish despite disastrous illnesses and even death, and by the commitment these "ordinary" people demonstrated in their marriages.
Divided into sections, the first section of All There Is is about finding love, the second part is about losing loved ones (through accidents and diseases), and the third section is entitled, "Found at Last". Fortunately the book ends on a high note, because when it comes to love and romance, many of us prefer a happy ending.
Reading this book--right before Valentine's Day--was a terrific way to reaffirm the importance of romantic love and marriage, in a society that often seems to be superficial, pessimistic, and misogynistic. These stories tell a different story.
Special thanks to Trish from TLC for sending me a copy of All There Is. For additional reviews of this book, please visit the other stops on TLC's All There Is book blog tour.